Your audiobook is waiting…

Seashaken Houses

A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet
Narrated by: David Monteath
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Lighthouses are striking totems of our relationship to the sea. For many, they encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose is much more utilitarian than that. Still today we depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland, a ring of 19 towers built between 1811-1905, so called because they were constructed on desolate rock formations in the middle of the sea, and made of granite to withstand the power of its waves.  

Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these singular towers, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.

©2018 Tom Nancollas (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jack Harrison
  • Jack Harrison
  • 07-07-19

A light in the Dark.

I may well end up wearing this one out with replaying. I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing about the Rock Lighthouses around the UK and two on the Eastern coast of Eire.

Their Keepers were a breed apart; perhaps by necessity. They had to be able to withstand storms with [pure stoicism], which would terrify most other people, whilst at the same time having the ability to pass weeks and occasionally months in isolation from their families and the country at large - and alongside all of this - they never lost sight of their nightly duty of keeping their light going which warned mariners away from the rocks they guarded; and saved countless lives. But their training also included such basics as baking bread, darning socks and other mundane chores.

The Author provides a fascinating account of visits to these Lighthouses, including Bell Rock, Bishops Rock and Fastnet, off the Irish coast. The only one not visited (and the most notorious in terms of extreme conditions), is Wolf Rock lighthouse. He gets around this problem, by visiting through the memories of a retired Wolf Rock Keeper.

Any aspect of this audiobook is interesting enough, but the story of their construction alone is well worth the time; considering the weather and sea conditions unique to each location. And especially given that they were built during the 1800s and before that.

As an example of the extremes involved, there is a very good YouTube video showing the effects of waves on these towers.
The Camera operator lies down on top of the safety net, for the Heli-deck. (The very top). His view looks down the full length of the tower; note also that these towers are over 100 feet tall. He's watching the waves during a storm. then every now and than, one wave breaks, and the entire tower disappears under solid water, almost reaching the camera. See (or SEA) below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrGCVrKu1k8

Well written, well read, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone.

I would like to make one last point to the Author. I do understand how he must feel about the Solorisation of Fastnet (and other Towers). But I would ask him to consider one idea. What a wonderful thing it is, to be providing a protective light in the remoteness of the Atlantic [ Fastnet etc], when the source comes from the greatest light of all, Old Sol, our star, which has protected everything on Earth - from the remoteness of Space, 93 million miles away. Is that not compensation enough? Especially if it extends the lives of these historic buildings. I'd rather see an old friend wearing spectacles, than not see him at all.

Jack D. Harrison.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful